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THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

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Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium Tellurium

Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium TelluriumI'm proud to be one of the first to unveil the Richard Mille Planetarium Tellurium. A massive achievement in horology with an entirely new mechanical interpretation of a centuries old tradition - Depicting the universe as clockwork. Created by the revolutionary independent watch brand, Richard Mille (with obvious watch case design) and developed by mastermind Stephen Forsey and Robert Greubel of CompliTime and an exclusive look into his original drawings for the Planetary Tellurium below the photos...

Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium Tellurium
Text by Theodore Diehl for Richard Mille (For the complete story, visit Horomundi-->LINK)

"Despite its enormous complexity, the Richard Mille Planetarium- Tellurium is designed to be: - easy to understand - easy and practical in use - precise and reliable This means that for the first time, an object of this type will be able to be operated by someone who is not a specialist.

UNDERSTANDABLE VISUAL REPRESENTATION

First of all, the diameter of the earth has for practical and aesthetic reasons been notably enlarged in the Planetarium-Tellurium (in reality, the earth is 109 times smaller than the sun) allowing a good view of the continents and indeed of countries. All the planets can be seen perfectly, although these, as explained above, are not to scale regarding size and distance. The indications (date, equation of time, zodiac) are represented in an easily readable and consistent way, and on a separate area from the layout depicting the rotation of the planets.

Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium TelluriumIndications, front panel

REPRESENTATIONS AND INDICATIONS

Astronomic representations (R) and indications (I)
  1. - Rotation of the earth on its axis (R)
  2. - Rotation of the earth around the sun (R)
  3. - Obliquity of the earth (R)
  4. - Rotation of the moon on its axis (R)
  5. - Rotation of the moon around the earth (R)
  6. - Phases of the moon (I)
  7. - Equation of time (I)
  8. - Mercury (R)
  9. - Venus (R)
  10. - Sun (R)
  • Rotation of the earth on its axis (R) One rotation on its axis in 24 hours. Error: +1° in 7.7 years
  • Rotation of the earth around the sun (R) One rotation in 1 year. Error: -1° in 2 million years. This rotation is used as the basis for indicating the seasons, the equinoxes, solstices and zodiac signs, represented in their respective windows.
  • Obliquity of the earth (R) Exact rotation, the tilt of the earth’s axis between the two poles: 23.5°. This tilt towards the sun provides a perfect understanding of the phenomenon of the seasons.
  • Rotation of the moon on its axis and rotation of the moon around the earth (R) The calculation of the rotation is based on a synodic month of 29.53058912 days (time interval between two new moons). Error : +1° in 168 years.
  • Phases of the moon (I) The phases of the moon are represented on the moon itself with a surrounding ring that represents the area visible from the earth.
  • Equation of time (I) The equation of time is represented by a hand and a dial divided into sectors on the front part of the planetarium. The hand represents in + or – the minutes that must be added or subtracted from the mean time in order to obtain the true solar time.
  • Solar time. Associated with the equation of time, it represents the true time in relation to the sun. This indication is connected to the planetary mechanism and is on the dial.
  • Mercury (R) Representation of Mercury performing a rotation around the sun in 87.9 days. Mercury does not rotate around its axis.
  • Venus (R) Representation of Venus performing a rotation around the sun in 224.7 days. Venus does not rotate around its axis.
  • Sun (R) Static representation of the sun in the centre of the Planetarium Tellurium.
  • Time indications - Hour - Minute - Time zones - Date (Perpetual calendar) - Day (Perpetual calendar) - Month (Perpetual calendar) - Year, decade (Perpetual calendar) - Leap year - Power reserve - Seasons, equinoxes, solstices, Zodiac signs
MATERIALS USED Titanium, steel, brass, gold, silver, red corundum

Another unique aspect of the Richard Mille Planetarium-Tellurium is the addition of a perpetual calendar to the astronomic representations in combination with a détente chronometer escapement. The addition of a highly accurate going train and winding barrel of the planetarium to this escapement make this the most accurate clockwork Planetarium Tellurium of its kind.

The clock will be unveiled at the September 2007 Tempus - Temple of Time in Singapore.

A one of a kind creation, the price? Well into seven figures.

More information at Horomundi here-->Link
Richard Mille website-->Link

Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium TelluriumView of the interior without the Sun in position.
Titanium bridges/plates


Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium TelluriumPlanetarium Terrurium Drawings
by Stephen Forsey of (Greubel Forsey)

Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium Tellurium
Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium TelluriumThe latest Richard Mille RM011 Chronograph
Photos by Mike Disher of TimeZone

Highlights of other Planetary devices, clocks and watches include the 18th century Planetarium clock below by Jean-Andre Lepaute of France.

Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium TelluriumTable Clock with Planetarium circa 1770
Collection of the Beyer Museum

Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium TelluriumOur solar system has even been reduced to a mechanical wristwatch with this recent Christiaan van der Klaauw "Planetarium." Previously featured here-->Link

Other phenomenal wrist galaxies like the 1985 Ulysse Nardin's Planetarium Copernicus and more recent, the Trilogy Set including the Astrolabe.

Boy, if I didn't feel small in this Universe, I sure do now!


Lastly, learn about the very first mechanical astronomical device nearly 2000 years old, the ancient Greek Antikythera Celestial Calculator-->Link

Related Posts;
Other Astronomical Timepieces-->Link
All Clock Posts-->Link
Complication Timepieces-->Link
Richard Mille-->Link
$2,000,000 Hatching Astronomic Clock by Vacheron Constantin --> Link


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Mechanical Memory - Maurice LaCroix Memoire1 Chronograph


Hard to say what I think about the Memoire1 without seeing it yet. The marketing and hype is gaining momentum. The race for new mechanical developments has been very active this year, including advancements like the lubricant-free Master Compressor Extreme LAB by Jaeger LeCoultre. The Memoire1 won't be revealed until November but for now, I'd like to share their press release, a video tease and a early peek at the movement.


MAURICE LACROIX CREATES THE FIRST MECHANICAL WATCH
WITH A MEMORY!

Can a mechanism remember? From now on, the answer is “yes”! Maurice Lacroix developed the first memory function for a mechanical watch. This completely new Grande Complication, which will find its initial application in the exclusive Memoire 1 chronograph, is a new milestone in the history of the art of Swiss watchmaking.

This watch has only two hands – one for the minutes and one for the seconds – along with a disk to indicate the hours. And yet the Mémoire 1 is one of the most complicated watches ever developed! The reason is that a revolutionary design sits inside this exclusive chronograph – the first memory function for a mechanical timepiece. An indication at 3 o’clock reveals the secret: By pressing the button integrated into the crown, the mode changes from “Time” to “Chrono”. The hands and the hours disk immediately change their positions. If their previous function was telling the current time, they are now available for the precise measurement of time intervals. When the button is pressed once again, they all return to their positions for telling time. Even when the chronograph is running, it is still possible to shift back and forth between the two modes without losing the information provided by one or the other function.

The memory function of the ML 128 manufacture movement, which makes possible this unique connection between the time and chronograph indications, is a major new Grande Complication that Maurice Lacroix developed to enrich the world of mechanical timekeeping. The mechanism and movement were completely designed and developed in the new “Atelier de Maurice Lacroix”. The result of this intensive process is a highly complex calibre made of 537 components – including nine switching hearts – for which Maurice Lacroix has already submitted numerous patent applications.

Maurice Lacroix is also pioneering new territory with the Memoire 1 in the design of the case and dial as well as in movement decoration and the selection of the materials used. The development process for this watch, which will be presented officially at Baselworld 2008 for the first time, is still underway. You can follow its creation on a dedicated Internet site at www.memoire1.ch.


One of a series of animated shorts leading up to its unveiling.

Memoire 1 Movement

For further information, check out JAW's post at Horomundi-->Link

Related Posts;
Opus 7
Marice LaCroix Pontos Decentrique GMT
All Chronograph Stories


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Animations of Mechanicality - Video of Opus 7


Recently featured here-->Link, the Opus 7 developed by Andreas Strehler for Harry Winston Fine Timepieces really needs to be seen in (on) the flesh. The video shown above doesn't really do it justice but it does help illuminate the complex simplicity of its unusual alternating mechanical digital display. As the watch journalist, Ian Skellern describes, "With only one display indication, the Opus 7 can 'remember' hours, minutes or the power reserve while displaying only one of them." These innovative mechanical memory devolopments are being discussed at Horomundi-->Link, where a post about another watch, the Maurice LaCroix "
Mémoire1", the world's first, and yet unseen by the public, chronograph with memory. (...and which I'll be posting more about this week)

But back to the video...More brands need to shoot live action videos of their complicated watches in motion. Potential enthusiasts and future collectors would really appreciate seeing the convoluted mechanics mingle. Computer animated presentations are fantastic, they go inside the watches like no other physical possibility. They all start to look the same with the spiraling video game slickness. Why not hire a filmmaker who shoots insect documentaries and could really examine the watches in its their actual micro-mechanical-environments.




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L.R.D. Light Reflecting Display - Original Amida Digitrend Advertisement



A very rare advertisement of the from the 1976 Basel Fair. Now it's clear that the brand was creatively competing with the electronic digital (LED & LCD) watch market with their "New Generation of Digitals", the mechanical "LRD" (Light Reflecting Display).

The watch was previously featured here-->Link

The Amida Digitrend simply created a hand-wound jump hour digital watch, printed the numbers backward in orange (emulating LED digits), and reflected them sideways through a prism correcting the numbers in the display. Genius!


The reverse-printed dials
Made with a few different names
This one by Hudson


Related Stories;
All Jump Hour Posts
All Digital Posts



Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch
Antiquorum's continuing record breaking auctions are reflecting and establishing the booming market for rare & luxury timepieces. Besides the highest price achieved by the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon for $1.2 million dollars at the recent New York auction, there was the fascinating Royal Oak Concept watch by Audemars Piguet. Produced in a series of 150 between 2002-2004, selling for $155,000, with nearly all pre-sold and nearly impossible to find nowadays. The June, 2007 price topped $232,000.

At the time one of Audemars Piguet’s most complicated watches and most innovative model. Entirely developed and built by AP’s subsidiary Renaud & Papi, the “CW 1” concept watch celebrates 30 years of “Royal Oak” history and breaks new ground with its highly unusual technical features;
  • Instantaneous "Dynamograph" mainspring torque indicator.
  • Electro-erosion formed titanium shock absorbers to protect the tourbillon cage - shock resistance to multiple G's (rumored to be 50) well beyond the shock tolerance of the human body.
  • A clutch system with mode pusher and indicator to wind the watch or change the time.
  • An innovative linear power reserve indicator, which is calibrated for the number of turns the barrel makes (one barrel rotation equals circa 6 hours of operation).
  • The watch case is machined from Alacrite 602, a new super-alloy used in aero-technology and medical applications. It consists of 57% Cobalt, 31% Chrome, 5% Tungsten and trace amounts of Carbon, Silicon and Iron. The material is extremely hard (Vickers Rate of 430).
The caliber 2896 is not based on any previous movement blank or ebauche, not even as a starting point. Completely and radically new, "from the ground up," every major structure, plate, sub-system and assembly is conceived and produced in-house.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept WatchDetail of shock-absorbing Tourbillon suspension (left)
and sub-second and crown function setting indicator (bottom)
(Remontoir / Neutre / Heures)


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept WatchSee-thru Sapphire case-back

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept WatchAntiquorum Model


Related Posts;
Concept Watches
Greubel Forsey - Invention Piece 1
DeBethune Power Prototype 1
Sarpaneva Supernova
Patek Philippe Cobra
Audemars Piguet - Maserati Millenary MC12


Click to compare prices of other watches
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch


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$500,000 Invisible Watch - Guy Ellia 'Tourbillon Zephir' by Christophe Claret


Famed movement designer Christophe Claret has teamed up with the exclusive French brand Guy Ellia for this unusual see-thru sapphire cased wristwatch. The mechanism including the tourbillon appear to float in-between the transparent plates allowing all motion to be viewed. Taking the skeletonized look to a new level, 'Ghost-inized'. See more at Claret's website-->Link as well as an animated video of the watch. Selling a bit over a half million dollars (390,000 Euros), I've heard that six have been sold already.

Claret is the man behind the Opus IV and the Jean Dunand Shabaka-->Link



Zephir Video-->Link


Guy Ellia's other openwork timepiece from 2006
'Time Square Tourbillon Magistere Biconvex'


Related posts;
Jean Dunand Shabaka
See-thru Radio Clock
Skeletons in the Closet
First All Plastic Watch










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The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!

The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!
I've written about this watch in the past, never really seemed it would be produced - but lo and behold, it
has been realized. Jean-François Ruchonnet of the DMC Group, the man responsible for the phenomenal belt-driven Tag Heuer V4 (which by the way, is also now a reality->Link) has taken Vianney Halter's vision to an official and public reality. Being sold in a variety of styles, seen at the official Cabestan website-->Link, you could buy one for between $275,000 and $400,000 (approx) but you'd be out of luck, all models for 2007 have sold out. And with plans for four watches a month in 2008, you might wanna rob that bank you always had your eye on...You know, the one with the sleepy security guard.

The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!
Available in titanium, yellow gold and rose gold
(top of page features black cylinder version)
As well as the all black titanium below

The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!
The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!
And with the demand for bling versions of everything, yo, the encrusted diamond Cabestan

The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!
Ah, the winch driven chain-fusee movements do move me!

The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!
The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!
The Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!
Cabestan Website-->Link
Search all past Cabestan posts-->Link




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DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 Wristwatch

DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 Wristwatch
Before John DeLorean's death in 2005, he tried to create a watch brand named 'DeLorean Time'. It was less about a timepiece and more about raising funds for his final unrealized sportscar, the DMC2. As the order form details above, a purchase of the $3495 wristwatch was an informal contract/certificate that would entitle you to the first DMC2 cars produced. Sadly, the watch design was pretty uninspired but appropriately made of metal injected/molded stainless steel just like his original iconic 1981 DeLorean DMC12. It was to be manufactured by Tech Time Ltd., a division of Seiko Epson. The watch was to be a fully automatic motion-activated quartz movement not requiring batteries. Powered by a
titanium lithium capacitor - not to be confused with the 'Flux Capacitor' that made time travel possible in a DeLorean in the Back To The Future films. No watches appear to have been produced or delivered to customers.

Too bad he couldn't develop a wristwatch based on his claim to fame Pontiac GTO's. Especially the 1968 GTO with hood mounted tachometer-->Link

DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 WristwatchDeLorean talking about the watch concept-->Link

DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 WristwatchSideview of DMC2 wristwatch design

DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 WristwatchFront view with hidden dial
Anyone with a photo of the dial? Email me!

DeLorean described the DMC2 concept as a GTO inspired high performance sportscar that young people could afford. A lightweight gull-wing car made of structural composites with no metal frame, a 250-275 horsepower engine and priced under $30,000.

Short videos of DeLorean Talking about his last project;
about the car concept-->Link
the car quality-->Link
the car industry-->Link
the Dell computer of the car business-->Link
the people involved-->Link
the watch-->Link

DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 WristwatchThe original DMC12 and commercial-->Link

DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 WristwatchA very funny vintage commercial from Volkswagen
making fun of the DeLorean (and a fun watch prop)
-->Link


DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 Wristwatch
Sources;
DeLorean History Media
Jack Freedman's TimeZone Article
New York Times Obituary
Tamir DeLorean Site
DeLorean Pontiac GTO History
DeLorean Pontiac Firebird

Watchismo Times Car Related Posts-->Link


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Internal Watch

Internal Watch
Designed by Leon Ransmeier for Vlaemsch ( ), this cocooned watch is encapsulated in leather rendering it non-functional as a timepiece. The designer explains, "The hidden watch transcends typical associations of status by isolating the emerging form rather than acting as a flashy signifier."

Although the identity of the encased watch is concealed, its contours suggest certain top-of-mind luxury cliches.

Internal Watch

via BoingBoing, available at Vivre, designed at Vlaemsch ( )


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Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium TelluriumMechanical Memory - Maurice LaCroix Memoire1 ChronographAnimations of Mechanicality - Video of Opus 7L.R.D. Light Reflecting Display - Original Amida Digitrend AdvertisementAudemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch$500,000 Invisible Watch - Guy Ellia 'Tourbillon Zephir' by Christophe ClaretThe Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical For Sale!Jean Richard Time Square (Square Time)DELOREAN TIME - The DMC2 WristwatchInternal Watch

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